LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY) 1
THE LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY) ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. short title.
3. Reduction of age of majority.
4. Time when particular age attained
5. Pcrson~ not of fun age may be described as minors.
6. Reference to age of twenty-one to be rtplaoed by reference to
7. Maintenance of wardp of Court.
8. Power of sixteen year old to consent to surpical. medical or
9. Directions for aocumulation not to be affected.
10. How rcfarenccs in orders or & d o n s to a@ to have &cct.
12. Saving of statutory provisions incorporated in instrumcnk
13. Power to amend other Aar.
age of eighteen.
IThe inclunion of this page is authorized by L.N. 3/20011
LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY)
THE LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJOlUTY) ACT lo*1979 Ad
l30th April, 1979.1
1. This Act may be cited as the Law Reform (Age of Shorttitle.
%! ! ” 2. In this Act- “appointed day” means the 30th of April, 19779;
“enactment” includes regulations.
341) As from the appointed day a person shall attain I$;;?
the age of majority and be of full age and capacity on 4a,onty.
attaining the age of eighteen years instead of on attaining
the age of twenty-one years, and any person who, on the
appointed day, is over the age of eighteen years but under
the age of twenty-one years, shall be deemed to have
attained the age of majority and be of full age and capacity
on that day.
(2) In the absence of a definition or of any indication
G of a contrary intention, the provisions of subsection (1)
shall apply for the purposes of construction of the expres-
sions “adult”, “full age”, “infant”, “infancy”, ‘‘majority”,
“minor”, “minority”, “sui juris”, and similar expressions
(U) any enactment, whether passed or made before,
on or after the appointed day; and
(b) any deed, will or other instrument made on or
after the appointed day, so, however, that notwith-
standing any rule of law, any wiU or codicil
executed before the appointed day shall not bb
treated for the purposes of this section, as having
been made on or after such appointed day by
IThe inclusion of tbis page is a u t h o i d by LN. 57/19801
of full age
to age of
to age of
LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY)
reason only of the fact that the will or codicil was
confirmed, affected or amended by a codicil
executed on or after that day.
(3) The provisions of this section shall not affect any
deficiency of juristic competence or capacity which is
attributable to insanity or any other factor distinct from
4 . 4 1 ) The time at which a person attains a particular
age expressed in years shall be the commencement of the
relevant anniversary of the date of his birth.
(2) This section has effect-
(0) where the relevant anniversary aforesaid falls on
or after the appointed day; or
(6) in relation to any enactment, instrument, deed or
will, subject to any provision contained in such
enactment, instrument, deed or will, as the case
5. A person who is not of full age may be described as
a minor, and accordingly, in this Act a “minor’’ means
such a person.
6 .41 ) For every reference to the age of twenty+ne
appearing in any enactment specified in the First Schedule
(omitted) there shall be substituted a reference to the age of
eighteen years and the enactment shall be amended accord-
(2) The Minister may from time to t h e by order
(3) Any order made under this section sh& be subject
7 4 1 ) Subject to the provisions of this Section, the Court
amend, vary, or add to the First Schedule (omitted).
to affirmative resolution.
may, by order-
me incluaioo of this pap is by L A 57119803
LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY)
(a) require either parent of a ward of. Court to pay
to the other parent; or
(b) require either or both parents of a ward of Court
to pay to any other person having the care and
control of the ward,
such periodic or other sums towards the maintenance and
education of the ward as the Court thinks reasonable having
regard to the means of the person or persons on whom the
requirement is imposed.
(2) Any order made pursuant to subsection (1) may
(U) any sum payable thereunder shall continue to be
paid in respect of any period specified in the order
after the date on which the ward of Court to
whom the payments relate attains the age of
eighteen years but not beyond the date on which
he attains the age of twenty-one years; and
(b) any sum payable thereunder after the ward of
Court to whom the payments relate has attained
the age of eighteen years, shall be paid to the
(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, where
a person who has attained the age of eighteen years but
has not attained the age of twenty-one years had, while he
was a minor, been the subject of an order making him a
ward of Court, then on the application of that person or of
either of his parents, the Court may by order require either
parent to pay to the other parent, to the person to whom
the order relates, or to any other person for the benefit of
the person to whom the order relates, in respect of any per-
iod specified in the order but not extending beyond the
date on which the person to whom the order relates shall
attain the age of twenty-one years, such periodic or other
sums towards his maintenanoe and education as the Court
thinks reasonable having regard to the means of the person
on whom the requirement is imposed.
tThc inclusion of this page ia authorized by L.N. 57119801
6 LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY)
(4) The Court may from time to time vary or dis-
charge any order previously made pursuant to this section.
(5) No order shall be made requiring payment by
one parent to the other parent pursuant to paragraph (U)
of subsection (1) or to subsection (3) and no liability shall
accrue under an order previously so made, at a time when
the parents of the ward of Court or former ward of Court,
as the case may be, are residing together, and if they so
reside for a period of three months continuously after such
an order has been made it shall cease to have effect.
(6) In this section “Court” means the Supreme Court
of Jamaica in the exercise of its jurisdiction relating to
wardship of children.
Power of 8 .41 ) Where a minor has attained the age of sixteen
yearoldto years his consent in respect of any surgical, medical or
S U I g i d , dental treatment to himself shall be as effective as it would
medicalor have been if he were of full age; and where a minor
treatment has, by virtue of the provisions of this section given an
effective consent in respect of any such treatment, it shall
not be necessary for consent to be obtained from the parent
or guardian of that minor in respect of that treatment.
(2) In this section “surgical, medical or dental treat-
ment” includes any procedure undertaken for the purposes
of diagnosis in respect of any surgical, medical or dental
matter and any procedure ancillary to any such surgical,
medical or dental treatment.
Directions 9. In relation to the construction of any rule or law which
for lays down permissible periods for the accumulation of in-
tionnotto be affec ed. come under settlements or other dispositions nothing con-
tained in this Act shall invalidate any direction for accumula-
tion contained in any settlement or other disposition made
by deed, will or other instrunient, as the case may be.
me idusion of tbia page is authorizsd by LN. 57/1980]
LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY) 7
10. Any order or direction in force immediately before HOW
the appointed day in relation to the control of money i n o r d e ~ ~ ~
recovered by or otherwise payable to a minor in any pro- wageto
ceedings or as a result of the compromise or settlement haveeffect
of a claim for money or damages shall have effect as if the
reference to that minor attaining the age of twenty-one
years or full age (however expressed) were a reference to
his attaining the age of eighteen years or, if he had attained
that age before the appointed day, his age on the appointed
11.-(1) Subject to subsection (21, any order in force Trmd-
immediately before the appointed day-
(a) making a person a ward of Court; or
(b) for the custody of or access to any person under
the Children (Guardianship and Custody) Act or
under the Divorce Act (now repealed),
which is expressed to continue in force until the person
who is the subject of the order attains the age of twenty-
one years, or any age between the age of eighteen years
and twenty-one years, shall have effect as if the reference
to his attaining that age were a reference to his attaining
the age of eighteen years, or if he had attained the age
of eighteen years before the appointed day, his age on that
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as
affecting the obligation of any person under any order to
make payments for the maintenance or education of any
person after he has attained the age of eighteen years.
13) The provisions OS sections 3 and 6 and of the
First Schedule (omitted) shall not prevent-
(a) the making of an adopkion order under the
Children (Adoption of) Act; or
(b) the granting of a licence under section 24 of the
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8 LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY)
in respect of a person who has attained the age of eighteen
years, in any case where the application for the order or
the licence, as the case may be, was made before the
appointed day; and in relation to any such case, the Children
(Adoption of) Act shall have effect as if section 3 of this
Act had not been enacted.
(4) Subject to subsection (5), the provisions of see
tions 3 and 6 and of the First Schedule (omitted) shall not
affect the provisions of sections 43 and 44 of the Convey-
ancing Act (which relate to the management of infants’
(a) in their application to any interat under any
instrument made prior to the appointed day; or
(b) in their application, by virtue of paragraph (ii) of
subsection (1) of section 5 of the Intestates’ Estates
and Property Charges Act, to the estate of an
intestate (within the meaning of that Act) dying
before that day.
(5) Where trustees have power to pay the income
of an estate or a trust to the parent or guardian of any
person who has attained the age of eighteen years, or to
apply that income for or towards the maintenance, educa-
tion or benefit of that person, they shall also have power
to pay the said income to that person.
(6) The change effected in the construction of section
17 of the Limitation of Actions Act by virtue of the pro-
visions of section 3, shall not atrect the time specifled for
bringing proceedings in respect of a cause of action which
arose. prior to the appointed day.
P O W ) - -
12. The provisions of this Act shail not affect the con-
struction of any statutory provision which is inmrporated
in and has effect as part of any deed, will or other instru-
lrIhe indusion of dhis page i i aumorired by L.N. M/ 19901
LAW REFORM (AGE OF MAJORITY) 9
13.41) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may by powerto
order amend, add to or vary the Second Schedule (omitted) othprActS,
and may make such ancillary provisions as he may consider
(2) Any order under this section shall be subject
to affirmative resolution.
We indurim of this page is nuthonked by LN. 57/1980]